Conrad Black was once one of the most powerful men in the publishing business. He bought London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in 1985 and eventually owned hundreds of newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada. But all that changed in 2007, when a U.S. Circuit Court convicted Black of fraud and obstruction of justice. He was released from prison last year, midway through his six-and-a-half year sentence, after an appellate court dropped two charges against him. Then in June of this year, a Chicago court upheld two other charges of defrauding investors against Black, ordering him to return to prison for a 13-month sentence, which he began yesterday.
Mohammed Adnan al-Bakkour, the attorney general of the central province of Hama in Syria, appeared in a video announcing his resignation on Wednesday in protest of government brutality. But the Syrian government denies al-Bakkour's claims and refuses to accept his resignation, saying he was kidnapped and forced to give the statement. Bloody uprisings started more than five months ago in Syria and Amnesty International says ten times more people have been killed in Syria than Libya. So why aren't we hearing more about it?
Forty years ago, E.B. White – the author of "Charlotte’s Web," "Stuart Little", and many other beloved children’s books – wrote a letter to the children of Troy, Michigan, at the request of a librarian in Troy’s new public library. "A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered." White was just one of the famous authors and public figures who responded to librarian Marguerite Hart’s request for letters to urge the children of Troy to read.
We kicked off our summer book club last week with a discussion of what makes a good summer read. Today we discuss our first pick from Senior Producer Mary Harris. Her choice for the summer is Daniel Wilson's "Robopocalypse." From "The Jetsons" to "Star Wars" to "Wall-E," robots have long been part of the American imagination. We talk to Daniel Wilson, a trained roboticist, about how "Robopocalypse" fits into this American tradition.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that California's overcrowded prison system violates the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Court ordered California to transfer or release thirty thousand inmates over the next two years. But California isn’t the only state with a high rate of incarceration. The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Peter Moskos thinks that Americans are in denial about the brutality of our prison system. And he has a provocative idea about how to change it. He's the author of the new book "In Defense of Flogging" and an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
There are approximately 80,000 chemicals at play in some form or another in the marketplace today. How much do we know about the effects that these chemicals have on our health? They're technically supposed to be regulated under the Toxic Substance Control Act, which was passed in 1976. But a policy statement out today by the American Academy of Pediatrics is arguing that the act is ineffective in protecting children and pregnant women from lots of toxic chemicals in our daily environment. How do we avoid negative effects?
It's been a year since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill and many questions remain about the long-term impact that the disaster will have not just on public policy, but on the fragile ecosystems of the Gulf Coast. To mark the one year anniversary of the disaster, two of our regular contributors reflect on what the future looks like one year later. Lisa Margonelli is the Director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation and David Biello is an editor at Scientific American.
The Egyptian revolution has transformed more than just the government. For decades, freedom of the press was out of reach for most of the Egyptian media, but the revolution has changed all that — to an extent. Some topics such as the military are still left unreported by most traditional outlets. Blogs like "Tahrir Diaries," a website run by 25-year-old writer and activist Mona Seif, are one of the few sources reporting on military trials and violations.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Cairo yesterday for the first official U.S. visit to Egypt since Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power. During the visit, she emphasized the continued support being offered by the Obama administration to the people of Egypt as they transition into a new government. "To the people of Egypt, this moment belongs to you," Clinton said. "You broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy."
As the Middle East convulses with more unrest this Friday we want revisit Egypt’s push for democracy and the role that women are playing in the movement there. It was only three days ago on International Women’s Day that women protesting for equal rights in Egypt’s Tahrir square were attacked and sexually harassed. What steps should they be taking next in the pro-democracy movement?
Imagine a search for identity on an epic scale, and you’ll have some idea what the novel "Pym" is about. It tells the story of Chris Jaynes — a professor who becomes obsessed with finding a mythical black homeland referenced by Edgar Allen Poe in his only full-length novel, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket." But "Pym" is more than a novel; it’s a biting satire of how Americans see race, and see themselves, in the 21st century.
In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama discussed his plans for job creation and increased American competitiveness in the global market during his next two years in office. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered the official response on behalf of the Republican Party and stressed the need for spending cuts and his party’s skepticism about further “investments.” And there was a new feature to the evening: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) spoke on behalf of the Tea Party in their united response to the president.
Ron Chernow has written about big names in American history, including Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Alexander Hamilton. His latest book examines one of the biggest names in American history: George Washington. The book is called "Washington: A Life," and in it, Chernow illustrates a man of conscience, humility and duty.
Former USC football coach Pete Carroll has at times been likened to a god in California for his wildly successful nine year run. But during his time in Los Angeles, questions arose over whether his team was playing a fair game. Carroll is out with a new book called "Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play like a Champion." He tells us about his legacy and the fairness of college athletics.
Mary here at the Futures Desk to give you a taste of what's on our agenda next week.
Terrorism expert Jessica Stern has been helping Americans understand the complexities behind the causes of terrorism in the 21st century. However, it took her many years to understand her own fascination with the subject. At age 15 she was attacked and raped in her own home. The crime was not immediately investigated. Stern explains how writing about her own experience with terror led her to better understand the relationship between terrorists and their victims.
Mary Harris here with a look at the upcoming week on The Takeaway.
MONDAY, JUNE 28TH: Supreme Court scheduled to release its final decisions today before breaking for the summer. Senate Judiciary Committee begins considering Elena Kagan’s nomination to the high court. TEDX oil spill event kicks off in Washington, DC.
WEEKLY AGENDA: Marcus Mabry of The New York Times joins our own economics editor, Charlie Herman to take a look at the week's news and events. Tell us, what are you looking at next week and what’s your word of the week?
How do we plan for a longer, healthier life? According to an Annals of Internal Medicine study, there are four simple priorities people need to have in order to get healthy: quit smoking; eat five servings of fruits or vegetables each day; get to a "healthy" weight; and exercise vigorously for 100 minutes each week.
Mary Harris here, looking at what we're planing for next week's show. We begin with THE AGENDA. It's our weekly agenda segment with Marcus Mabry of The New York Times. He’ll join with our own Charlie Herman. Each week we ask them to give us a word that describes the week ahead. Tell us, What’s YOUR word of the week?
It’s Mary again, looking ahead to what's upcoming on The Takeaway.
MONDAY, JUNE 14TH: President Obama heads to the gulf coast again, visiting Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida; this will be his fourth visit. Iraqi Parliament opens for first time since the country’s inconclusive election. Trial begins for four men who allegedly planned to explode a car bomb outside a synagogue in the Bronx. Joint Center for Housing Studies releases its annual report on the housing market. Webby Awards ceremony in New York, NY.